Webster University President Elizabeth Stroble’s Twitter page is a constantly updating stream of information. She tweets on subjects ranging from events at Webster University, to national politics and even making brownies.
“In the fall of 2009 when I first came to Webster, Jack Dorsey was an invited speaker. He demonstrated how Twitter worked, and it instantly made sense to me,” Stroble said. “Twitter has a sense of immediacy to it, and immediate communication to a wide audience is a great tool to have.”
Stroble’s use of social media is the focus of a chapter in a book released last month titled “#Follow The Leader: Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEdCEOs.”
The book focuses on how higher education administrators can use social media to their benefit. Author Dan Zaiontz believes a strong social media presence is necessary in this day and age.
“Many higher education leaders wonder about the why and how of social media but haven’t yet taken to Tweeting or Facebooking,” said Zaiontz through email. “If you are looking at new ways to connect with your students, how, as a president, can you knowingly avoid social media?”
Stroble was appointed the President of Webster University in 2009. Since then she has tweeted 5,538 times, with an average of five tweets a day and 111 a month.
In January alone she sent out 301 tweets, an indication of her increased emphasis on social media presence.
Stroble has been incorporating electronic communications to reach wider audiences throughout her career. As a doctoral student at the University of Virginia in 1987, she wrote her dissertation on the use of email to provide feedback to students.
“I want the university to get the attention worldwide that it deserves,” said Stroble. “I really want to tell the Webster story so that everyone who graduates from here doesn’t have to explain to somebody who Webster is. The reputation of the university should precede every student.”